At Medical Teams, one of the best parts of our work is seeing the ways people connect because of our work. Sometimes that means they share in the simple dignity and joy of receiving health care, but often, deeper relationships are made. We see our volunteers, providers, and the people we serve forge bonds every day — over their faiths, their families, and their hope for the future. One friendship that we’ve found particularly inspiring is between Margri, one of our community health volunteers, and Naylin, one of the women she serves. Today, we’re sharing their friendship in photos!

When you scroll through these images, you’ll see two strong women, united by their faith and fierce love for their families. See this incredible friendship in photos below!

Margri and Naylin

a friendship in photos
Margri, one of our community health volunteers, approaches Naylin’s door for a regular visit. Photo by Lauren Odderstol.

When Margri moved from Venezuela to Colombia, her goal was to get her son — who has a disability — the medicine he needs to stay healthy. After Venezuela’s economic collapse, the medicine wasn’t available in her country anymore. But without family or friends to support her in Colombia, she felt isolated and alone. She knew she wanted to give back and build a stronger connection to her community. That’s when she found Medical Teams.

Margri says,

“When I was selected as a volunteer — joy. Joy! First, because I like it. And second, because I would have more knowledge.”

She uses that knowledge to help her neighbors like Naylin. One day, Margri knocked on Naylin’s door, ready to ask if she needed help getting health care. She had no idea she was about to meet a dear friend.

Naylin and Margri share a hug after not seeing each other for awhile! Photo by Lauren Odderstol.

You can see their friendship in this photo — Margri and Naylin became fast friends after that first visit! Naylin was at home with her daughters, who were struggling with frequent colds because of the damp living conditions in their home. Naylin’s family moved to Colombia from Venezuela after one of her daughters nearly died from lack of care in Venezuela after she contracted dengue fever. The reality is that Venezuela’s economic crisis made it difficult for Naylin and her family to survive. Accordingly, they came to Colombia with the hope of working, having enough food and water, and keeping their daughters healthy.

That’s where Margri came in! Through Medical Teams, Margri connected Naylin to health care for her daughters. She gave them hygiene vouchers, and helped her find other resources. But more than that, the two became friends.

A friendship in photos

Margri and Naylin now see each other regularly, both as friends and as a part of Margri’s volunteer work with Medical Teams. Margri has helped Naylin make the transition to life in Colombia.

Naylin and Margri found each other through Medical Teams, but forged a bond through their shared experiences  in Colombia. Photo by Lauren Odderstol.

Like many Venezuelan people who migrate to Colombia, Margri and Naylin left behind children in Colombia. But the choice was heartbreaking, even when it was made to save their children’s lives. Both Margri and Naylin have bonded over their shared grief at making this painful decision.

Now, because of their friendship, they take comfort in one another and their shared experience.

Margri and Naylin’s shared faith has united them. Photo by Lauren Odderstol.

Margri and Naylin are both women of faith. When they learned this about each other, they began praying together.

Naylin says of Margri,

“With me, there are very few friends. She is one…and she knows it.”

It’s easy to see in these photos of their friendship that they’re close like any of us are with the people we love. We all talk, cry, pray, and laugh together!

Like all great friendships, Margri and Naylin share a sense of humor and often find joy, even amid their hardship. Photo by Lauren Odderstol.

The other thing Margri and Naylin have in common? A sense of humor! After all, laughter is the best medicine. Even when they face difficulties, they find great joy in each other’s company. There are many, many photos of the two of them laughing!

Margri and Naylin have both formed a stronger connection to their communities through their friendship. Photo by Lauren Odderstol.

Together, Margri and Naylin have made stronger connections to other women in their community, too. As a volunteer, Margri has visited countless households and helped connect them to health care. Naylin has found other mothers like her, who are also starting over in their new country. Alongside one another and Medical Teams, they’re helping build the foundations of a healthy, happier Colombia.

Loving our neighbors and friends

Margri and Naylin laugh together on a walk. Photo by Lauren Odderstol.

At Medical Teams, we believe in loving our neighbors — both near and far — through loving, life-saving health care. We also know that starts at the community level. Margri and Naylin’s friendship is a perfect example of how health care can connect us. It’s also a reminder how health care is more than just a doctor or medicine. Health care is friendship, laughter, someone to pray with. It’s seeing, celebrating, and loving the whole person.

Naylin says,

“Medical Teams truly are the sweetest. It’s incredible, I’m so amazed. What I get more from Medical Teams apart from an appointment is their love for the fellow man.”

The friendship in these photos is evidence of how loving your neighbor can change the world! Because Margri loves her neighbors — and they love her back! — she’s making her community healthier.

Margri leaves Naylin’s house with a smile. Photo by Lauren Odderstol.

One easy way to love your neighbor is by making a donation today! Your gift supports women just like Margri and Naylin around the world.